National eNews ~ SPRING into SEPTEMBER 2016


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National eNews ~ 1st September 2016


Lizz Vernon

What's in this Issue:

~ Message from the President
~ Is your membership on the level? If not is it time to Upgrade...
~ Mental Health - Where are you at? And how about your friends?
~ Our new ACS Promo Reel now released by Gold Sponsor, The Post Lounge
~ Emmy nomination for the Award winning documentary Life on the Reef
~ Postcard from Pawel Achtel
~ Please check out the ACS White Paper - The ACS Forum of Expectations
~ Postcard from Conrad Slack ACS
~ Starting From... Now! WebSeries by 2 of our own, 30 Million viewers worldwide and growing
~ Flying Dragon shot a Toyota TVC at Magic Hour
~ SONY unveils the new HXR-NX5R
~ Postcard from Jules O'loughlin ACS in Hong Kong with Chris Doyle HKSC
~ Silver Trak moves to IRIS 4K Media Player Platform
~ Postcard from Judd Overton, in LA
~ Peter James ACS ASC runs a masterclass in QLD
~ Postcard from Ben Nott ACS
~ Anonymous survey: WHS in Broadcast Television and Film Production
~ Time to have a VESTED interest in the ACS ...SHOP NOW
~ ACS Laurels & ACS Shields now available
~ AFTRS - Short Courses and so much more

Message from the President

Our illustrious leader reveals just what gets him through an Award Season "Inner Strength - The Ranger Within"

Greetings ACS friends and colleagues,

ACS State and Territory Awards entries are well and truly open, so if you are in any doubt regarding which category you should be entering into, please refer to the guidelines on the entry form. If you are still concerned then please contact your Branch President or Secretary for immediate clarification.

As you are no doubt aware Accreditation applications have now closed for this year, but I want to re-inforce that if it is your intention to apply next year or in the near future, you should check your membership status, as only Full Members of three years standing may apply.

I cannot emphasise strongly enough that Active members must monitor their own membership status yearly, and upgrade to Full when ready to do so in order to be eligible to apply for Accreditation.

(i.e. A Full Member is a person who is and has been active as a professional cinematographer in the motion picture or television industry for a period of at least five years and is over
the age of twenty-one.)

If you are ready to upgrade to Full Membership please contact your State or Territory Treasurer, or if you believe you should have upgraded to Full some time ago, again please contact your State or Territory Treasurer for more information.

Mental Health issues are high on the list of priorities for the Society to deal with. At the last meeting of the Screen Guilds, a 70 page report was submitted to the Guilds by the MEAA, as something we could all share with our members. This valuable resource is available on the ACS web site, and I recommend you make a good strong cuppa, sit down and have a good long read, as the findings will disturb you, as they have done to me. So much so, that I felt compelled to visit the issue via AC Magazine as I have done in the past. The ACS believes strongly that we should be watching out for each other, given the importance of this tragic problem. It has already been responsible for the loss of some of our members, and no doubt family and friends. Observe, and watch for the warning signs of depression, anxiety and stress. Ask the question ”Are you ok?” Listen to the answers, you may have just prevented someone from doing something silly.

Until next time
Ron Johanson OAM ACS
National President

WELLBEING_REPORT_2015_entert_assist.pdf »
INFO_SHEET_wellbeing_data_summarised.pdf »

With the outstanding support of ACS National Gold sponsor, THE POST LOUNGE, our ACS Promo reel is available for viewing by clicking on the link below

The reel is for screening at all ACS Awards events along with other promotional events that require ACS branding, The reel features the work of all the National Gold Tripod winners from earlier this year.

ACS 2016 Showreel »


Nominations for the 37th Annual News and Documentary Emmy® Awards have been announced by The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS).

The News & Documentary Emmy® Awards will be presented on Wednesday, September 21st, 2016, at a ceremony at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P Rose Hall in the Time Warner Complex at Columbus Circle in New York City. The event will be attended by more than 1,000 television and news media industry executives, news and documentary producers and journalists. Awards will be presented in 46 categories.

Congratulations to ACS members

Jon Shaw, Luke Peterson, Nick Robinson, David Hannan (Additional Underwater Cinematography) Nathan Tomlinson (Aerial Cinematography) and Daniel Stoupin

for their Emmy nomination for the Award winning documentary Life on the Reef in the OUTSTANDING CINEMATOGRAPHY: DOCUMENTARY AND LONG FORM.

This is fantastic news, and we all wish the guys the very best of good luck on the night.

Jon Shaw observed - "The small team, were put forward for an Emmy nomination by PBS, the US television channel that commissioned the documentary. “Three weeks later we found out we’d been short-listed in the Outstanding Cinematography — Documentary and Long Form category”.

POSTCARD from Below ~ Pawel Achtel


Again, I want to emphasise the great work of Peter James ACS ASC and Calvin Gardiner ACS in creating the ACS White Paper - "The ACS Forum of Expectations".

I ask all members to take a few minutes and review the presentation that I delivered at the International Cinematography Summit in Los Angeles. This is the future of our industry, and particularly the role we will play as cinematographers.

Can I ask all Branches that they screen the presentation at one of your upcoming meetings, so as many members, along with our colleagues from all the other Guilds can become a part of this, and provide us with your feedback in order to continue the progress of the concept. » »
ACS_Forum_of_Expectations_2016_06E.pptx »
ACS_Forum_of_Expectations_2016_06E.pdf »

POSTCARD from Manilla ~ Conrad Slack ACS

STARTING FROM... NOW ~ With more than 30 million views world wide...

Starting From... Now is the Australian drama that’s big in Boston, massive in Manchester and quite the thing in Frankfurt, the show’s actors while almost anonymous in Australia are stopped in the street in the US by adoring fans. Actor and producer Rosie Lourde said the audience for the show was diverse because it avoided stereotypes, and wasn’t limited to gay viewers. “I think our approach, and the really strong cast that people have responded to, means we have a wide appeal.”

Rosie Lorde plays Darcy in SFN, DOP Marcus Stimson ~ filmed the successful web series Starting From... Now, joining the Production for Season 3, 4 & 5

The team had originally planned just one season, “but when we finished shooting we realised there was more to the story,” says the Series Writer/Director Ms Kalceff.

“We decided if we were going to keep going we would ramp up the production values and expand the cast.”

Season 3 saw a total change to the Cinematography team with Marcus Stimson and Lizz Vernon coming onboard to form the camera department. As a team who often work together they have their own shorthand which helped when they had on average 28 set ups a day. "We were getting through 5-6 pages of script a day, with one day involving 34 set ups" Marcus said.

As DOP, Marcus filmed with a Canon C300 using a range of prime and Canon EF Lenses which helped to increase the production value and then in Season 4 & 5 the pair teaming up again this time cross shooting with two Canon C300's. "The fourth and fifth series saw an expanded camera department, which included two ACs (Neal Von Dinklage and Michael Thompson) thanks in part to sponsors such as Screen Australian, Screen NSW and a host of other contributors and SBS 2 picking up the series to run on Monday nights" Marcus stated. "Having this amazing team enabled me to work with director Julie Kalceff and concentrate on composition and lightning."

The increasing slickness of the show brought in more viewers and even awards with Starting From… Now! winning best web series at the 2015 SHE WebFest and Sarah de Possesse winning best supporting actor at the prestigious NYC WebFest awards for her portrayal of Steph. Producing work online has also helped the cast showcase their work and get out in the public sphere in an industry where it can be notoriously difficult to catch a break. “Lots of actors are unemployed and figuring out how to make their own content so platforms like YouTube and Vimeo are an easy way of honing skills and everyone gets a boost,” said Ms Lourde. It was with season three, Starting From … Now! exploded internationally.

“Lots of actors are unemployed and figuring out how to make their own content so platforms like YouTube and Vimeo are an easy way of honing skills and everyone gets a boost,” said Ms Lourde.

It was with season three, Starting From … Now! exploded internationally.

“We saw the numbers spike in the millions. It was mainly from the US but also France, Germany, the UK and then Australia,” says Ms Lourde.

“People hadn’t see this type of story come out of Australia before and I think there is a novelty overseas of watching Australian actors playing Australian women on Australian streets.”

Check out Starting From... Now! HERE! »


Filming at magic hour for a Toyota TVC along the Great Ocean Road with the guys from Scorpio Ops. On board the Freefly Alta 8 drone - The Arri Alexa Mini with Zeiss Ultra Primes. »

Flying Dragon is a world leading aerial drone and remote cinematography company. We provide the perfect combination of skills and film knowledge to all our flight operations worldwide. Our expert pilots are CASA certified and our remote camera operators are trained in cinematography. Please see our website for more information about our services.

SONY unveils HXR-NX5R

Sony introduces its latest NXCAM camcorder, the HXR-NX5R, which supersedes the popular NX5 and NX3 models and offers network functions and enhanced shooting performance. Superb colour imagery and high sensitivity is achieved with three 1/2.8-type Full HD Exmor CMOS sensors and 40x Clear Image Zoom function to double the optical zoom without losing image quality. The camcorder is equipped with multi-format recording to satisfy a wide range of shooting applications and environments such as weddings, corporate productions and other live events.

Further upgrades include a 3G-SDI terminal that supports Full HD 50p output. The HXR-NX5R incorporates the first on-camera adjustable brightness LED video light, minimizing the need for external lighting equipment.

Sony’s HXR-NX5R provides content creators with newly upgraded network functions, including FTP and live streaming, with built in Wi-Fi, along with simultaneous backup recording through dual SD card slots for enhanced reliability and adaptability in challenging live event environments. Options for advanced XAVC-S 50Mbps or established AVCHD / DV recording formats are available to suit a range of workflows and client requirements.

The HXR-NX5R features easy-to-use direct functions and a responsive joystick, making access to key camera functions straightforward without needing to enter the menu whilst on the go. These features are combined with a wide viewing angle and high contrast OLED viewfinder to monitor the image. The new professional functions provide content creators with a cost-effective solution by minimising the need for extra accessories. For example, the in-built Multi-Interface Shoe supports a UWP-D series wireless microphone receiver, providing power to the receiver without the need of batteries and transfers the audio to the camera without external cables.

The HXR-NX5R camcorder to be available in Australia from October 2016 onwards »

POSTCARD from Hong Kong ~ Jules O'Louglin ACS

SILVER TRAK sees clearly through IRIS for 4K QC

Furthering its commitment to the market of having the very latest in broadcast services and technology Silver Trak has purchased and installed the unique Iris media player platform from GreyMeta enabling them to offer comprehensive Quality Control (QC) for 4K content. The move makes Silver Trak the first company in Australia to adopt Iris to enhance its QC services.

Silver Trak MD Christian Christiansen explained the company’s decision to invest in the software, “Iris lets us take our QC offering to the next level and include 4K content. We use Iris so we can playback very high bitrate files such as 4K IMP and DCP (encrypted and unencrypted) image sequences. We can also review and edit captions on screen. Iris also allows us to playback HDR content and has a number of scopes which are valuable for 4K QC purposes, especially when those files have to be sent to companies like Netflix.”

Iris is an award winning collaborative professional media player renowned for critical viewing and quality control. By combining on screen drawing, file checking templates, timeline annotations and messages shared instantly and safely with key stakeholders the system is safe, secure and efficient.

The new Iris solution has hit the ground running with Silver Trak already receiving and QC-ing 4K master files from a significant number of clients across Australia.

Underpinning Silver Trak’s decision to purchase Iris was its commitment to offer the best possible QC across all formats and platforms.

President of GrayMeta, Mark Gray, added, “The investment in world leading 4K quality control technology at this crucial juncture underscores Silver Trak’s leading position in Australia’s high end post production marketplace. As IRIS’ first adopters, it’s clear they are again the most forward thinking in this space. IRIS is being sold and supported in Australia by Techtel and they were instrumental in enabling this relationship from product sales and technical support through to systems integration.”

Christian Christiansen concluded, “We are delighted to be able to offer the market full, proper and comprehensive QC for 4K content in Australia. With Iris and our already-proven in-house workflows and expertise we can offer the best service possible, and this means that our clients’ high quality requirements for 4K QC are met every time.”

Call for Survey Participants from Lauren Horder

As part of my PhD studies at the University of Newcastle, you are invited to take part in an anonymous survey about your experiences with WHS in Broadcast Television and Film Production, and how it has affected your work practices. The survey should only take about 20 minutes to complete. More details on this research project are included in the survey.

Thank you in advance for your participation.

Lauren Horder
PhD Candidate and Sessional Academic
School of Design, Communication and IT
Faculty of Science and Information Technology
University of Newcastle

To access the survey please click the link HERE »



Photo courtesy of Davi Soesilo.

Last week, a number of ACS Qld members joined 40 students from The Griffith Film School in a 3 day lighting workshop with Mr Peter James ACS ASC, along with special guest Mr Bruce Beresford. It was a wonderful opportunity to see and hear the famous director and cinematographer team of Bruce and Peter together after a long time collaboration on films such as 'Mao’s Last Dancer’, ‘Paradise Road’ and ‘Driving Miss Daisy’.

Peter James ACS ASC took them through a very straightforward lighting approach to a South African courtroom for one of Bruce’s new scripts - and along with a number of professional technicians and equipment - a full day scene and a night scene were shot using professional cast. These scenes were then edited overnight, so the workshop attendees could then sit in on a colour grading session with Peter James ACS ASC - again another wonderful opportunity.

Many thanks to the Griffith Film School, as well as resources supplied from ACS sponsors GRUNT GRIPPING and SHED LIGHT. Cameras and lenses were also supplied from LEMAC.

Lookout for future events and masterclasses like this, as being an ACS member entitles you to attend many of these workshops - and those who attended received incredible inspiration and we wish to thanks Peter James ACS ASC for his time.

Photos courtesy of Davi Soesilo.

POSTCARD from Cape Town, South Africa ~ Ben Nott ACS & Crew


Get yourself an ACS Vest

Personally road tested for you in a couple of very chilly parts of Australia, plenty of pockets handy for keeping batteries and hands warm between filming.
Plenty of stock, plenty of sizes.

Get one now!!!


Are you an Awards Winner?

Why not contact Ron Johanson ACS at to obtain an ACS Laurel to use on your web site etc.

They are available for both State and Territory Gold winners, along with National Awards Gold Tripod recipients. See examples, which can include the title of the entry should you wish.

The Society has recently developed, thanks to Victorian President, Warwick Field ACS a group of ACS Shields for you to use on your web site, business cards, showreel etc to let everyone know you are part of the ACS. See examples above that are available for ACS Accredited members, ACS Members, ACS Sponsors and ACS Supporters. Contact Ron Johanson ACS to organise your ACS Shield.

Website Members Login » »


~ 10 SEPT
A great opportunity to learn about AFTRS 2017 courses particularly the BA Screen - Production, Diplomas (including Camera Assisting) and Advanced Diplomas, take a tour of AFTRS state-of-the-art facilities, meet the tutors and more!
Saturday 10 SEPT, 10am-3pm

~ Wed 21 Sept
Find out about AFTRS new 2017 postgraduate courses: 8 Graduate Certificates (including Cinematography), the MA Screen: Business & Leadership plus the new MA Screen (in 11 disciplines including Cinematography) are designed to nurture the next generation of visionary screen storytellers who can work at the highest level of Australian screen culture.
Wednesday 21 Sept, 6-8pm


This weekend intensive with Paul Warren (The Cup) will teach you techniques and practical skills to produce high quality images and sound for documentary and drama.
~ 15-16 Oct

This intensely practical five-day course will introduce you to the duties and professional requirements of the Camera Assistant in drama, documentary, Reality and commercials. 2 Start dates available.
~ 24-28 Oct & 28 Nov - 4 Dec

Learn basic lighting skills in cinematography and how they apply to the visualization of a story or concept over 5 days with cinematographer Anna Howard.
~ 7- 11 Nov »

NEW SHOWREELS UP @ Showreelfinder »

© 2019 Australian Cinematographers Society